When Roman “Barbarians” Met the Asian Enlightenment
Ben Thomas

Thanks for the article Ben. I appreciate it was a ‘once over lightly’ approach. But your opening statements reminded me of something else — the same pattern on a larger scale — of not looking at other parts of the world and their history.

Where are all the African empires, not just Egypt and Carthage, that interacted with Europe and Asia?

What does most of the world know about the Pacific empires. Some Americans have been told that the only Pacific Kingdom was Hawaii. But of course the King of Tonga (currently ruling) would probably disagree. Then there’s the extraordinary history that ties Tonga, Samoa and Fiji together. To this day there’s bad-blood between Tonga and Samoa. There’s also the multitudinous languages across the whole region, if we include Melanesia we probably have somewhere between one sixth and one fifth of all of the world’s languages currently spoken, and yet there’s common words for the same concepts (e.g. the word for hand/five), illustrating that these cultures have been in frequent close contact for millennia.

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